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BJD supports NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind in Prez polls

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Bhubaneswar, June 19 : Biju Janata Dal president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced his party’s support to NDA presidential poll candidate Ram Nath Kovind.

“After discussing with senior party leaders, BJD has decided to support the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind,” Patnaik told reporters after receiving a telephone call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Elaborating the reasons behind BJD’s support to the NDA candidate, Patnaik said Ram Nath Kovind is an eminent lawyer belonging to the scheduled caste community.

“The office of the President of India is above political consideration and Biju Janata Dal wants to keep it above the politics,” he said.

Stating that the prime minister spoke to him about the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind, Patnaik said, “He (PM) sought BJD’s support in this regard.”

“As you know, the last time when presidential elections were held, BJD had proposed the name of P A Sangma, an eminent leader from the tribal community. Based on the request of BJD, many parties including the BJP had supported his nomination,” he said.

Asked whether BJD supported the NDA candidate out of any pressure, party spokesman dismissed it and said “We continue to maintain equal distance from both BJP and Congress. The post of the President of India is above party politics.”

Even as several regional parties either indicated their support or opposition to the NDA’s presidential pick, Patnaik initially kept everyone guessing as regards his party’s stance on the issue saying he will first discuss the matter with senior party leaders.

Out of the 21 Lok Sabha MPs from Odisha, 20 belong to the BJD. The party has eight members in the Rajya Sabha, besides the support of an independent MP, and 117 MLAs in the state assembly.

Election

Karnataka Polls: BJP releases fourth list of 7 candidates

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New Delhi, April 23: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday released the fourth list of candidates for the upcoming crucial Karnataka Elections.

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Election

ECI announces election date for Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh

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New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday announced the date for the biennial elections in Maharashtra and a by-poll in Andhra Pradesh.

The two elections will be held on May 21 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Maharashtra election was necessitated as the term of six Legislative Council members will end on May 31 and June 21.

Anil Dattatrey Tatkare’s term from the Raigarh-cum-Ratnagiri-cum-Sindhudurg seat will end on May 31, while the terms of Jadhav Jaywantrao Pundlikrao from Nashik, Bhangdiya Mitesh Gotulal from Wardha-cum-Chandrapur-cum-Gadhchiroli, Abdullah Khan A. Latif Khan Durrani from Prabhani-cum-Hingoli, Pravin Ramchandraji Pote from Amravati and Deshmukh Dileeprao Dagdojirao from Osmanabad-cum-Latur-cum-Beed will expire on June 21, according to the ECI.

The by-election in Andhra Pradesh is being held as Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu from the Chittoor local authorities’ constituency died on February 7.

As per the ECI schedule, the date of issuance of notifications will be April 26 while the last date of nomination will be May 3.

The scrutiny of nominations will be on May 4 while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is May 7.

The ECI also said the elections will be completed by May 29.

IANS

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Karnataka BJP MP Sreeramulu contesting assembly polls

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Bengaluru, April 22 (IANS) BJP’s Lok Sabha lawmaker from Karnataka’s Ballari, B. Sreeramulu on Saturday filed nomination to contest in the May 12 assembly elections from Molakamuru (reserved) seat in Chitradurga district.

Sreeramulu, 47, filed the nomination in the presence of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Molakamuru constituency is reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs).

As per his poll affidavit, Sreeramulu declared his income and assets, including that of his wife Bhagyalakshmi, to be valued at Rs 18.17 crore.

He has disclosed cash and bank deposits valued at over Rs 4.5 crore and other immovable assets including property and buildings worth over Rs 12 crore.

Sreeramulu was the Health and Family Welfare and Tourism Minister from 2008-2011 in the state’s first Bharatiya Janata Party government, but stepped down from the post and resigned from the party to protest the alleged ill-treatment by the party to then cabinet minister and Ballari mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy.

He had rejoined and contested the Lok Sabha election in 2014 as a BJP candidate from the rich mining district of Ballari.

After quitting the BJP in 2011, Sreeramulu floated a regional outfit Badava Shramika Raitha Congress (BSR Congress) and won four seats in the 2013 assembly polls, after which he quit his own party to rejoin BJP. However, his BSR Congress remains and is identified as a BJP ally in the state.

Sreeramulu is also one of the two MPs among the candidates announced so far by the BJP to contest the assembly elections, with the other being Yeddyurappa, A Lok Sabha member from Shivamogga.

In a related development, the opposition BJP’s sitting MLA from Molakamuru, S. Thippeswamy, has decided to contest from the constituency as an Independent after he was not re-nominated by the party and in protest against the selection of Sreeramulu, an outsider, from Ballari district.

Till Friday, the BJP has announced 213 candidates to contest the 224-member Karnataka assembly polls. The party had, in its second list of 82 candidates released on April 16, fielded G. Somashekar Reddy, younger brother of Janardhan Reddy, from Ballari City segment.

The third list released on Friday had includedAKarunakar Reddy, another of Reddy’s brothers, from Harapanahalli in Ballari.

OANS

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